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Archive for November, 2016|Monthly archive page

Christmas Gift Celebrates 10 Years

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

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We’re bringing our Christmas Gift album back to the stage this holiday season! Starting off with the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District (Fri Nov 25th 6:30 pm $6) and then a dedicated full length performance at London Ontario’s Aeolian (Sunday Nov 27th 3pm, $22- $30 tix).  We will also be performing some tunes from the project at Upstairs Jazz in Montreal (Dec 2),  Allsaints swing dance in Ottawa (Dec 3) and The Jazz Room in Waterloo (Dec 10)

The story of Christmas Gift….

In 2006 I recorded my Christmas Gift album to help raise awareness for organ donation. I’d seen people waiting for lung transplant, althought transplant had not yet entered my own life. The rampant commercialism of Christmas got me thinking about the misplaced spirit of giving… the gift of life is truly a gift worth giving. And so the album was born.

While the album is a non-typical roller coaster of Christmas tunes from the swing era, I also re-wrote some lyrics for the cause to a Julia Lee song, the Christmas Blues, “If one kind soul would sign on, I’d have a brand new song to sing….” That’s the only overt musical reference to organ donation on the album.

Since I made that record I was able to receive the gift of life in both 2008, and again in 2013. I remember there was one song on this album which became more and more difficult to sing as my disease progressed.  At present, the jam packed mouthful of words are such a joy to sing: I want to share that joy with you again!

Gift of Life…

Visit www.beadonor.ca in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada www.liveon.ca to sign your consent to be an organ donor here. One person can save up to 8 lives & enhance countless others through organ and tissue donation!

The album….

A special re-pressing of this album has been prepared for this season! Having gone out of print, this 10th anniversary was a good reason to get it pressed again.  As CDs are going the way of the dinosaur, I’d like to point out that aside from being a nifty stocking stuffer, the CD itself also acts as a very reflective mirror for putting on holiday red lipstick, or straightening a holiday bowtie.

The band….

The group I’m traveling with this season includes myself, Peter Hill (piano), John Macleod (cornet), Chris Banks (double bass), and Glenn Anderson (drums.) There will also be guest cellist Christine Newland at the Aeolian show!

The rehearsal….

Click here to preview a few sounds from our rehearsal last week…. The Boogie Woogie Santa Claus!!

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8 years…

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

 

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November 4th 2008 was the day this blog started.  It was transpant day. It was US election day: they day Obama was voted in. To the words “Yes we can!” I recovered.  I thank my donor, who in 2008, gave me alife line which lasted several more years. (Until rejection crept in.)

It’s November 2016 and to celebrate I’d like to jump on the Ontario Lung Associaton’s “Take a Breather” campaign.

One of my favourite places to take a breather is in these woods, on a pony!  After the brisk trot up the long laneway on the other side of the corn field, lies a tall dense cathedral of yellow and orange leaves which light up each fall. It is a good place to break  to the walk and breath in the autumn smells as you catch your breath before taking another jaunty zip around a farmer’s field on the other side of the woods. There is nothing that compares with breathing welll, and breathing well in the autumn makes for some good horseback riding. I have worked hard for this, with training on horseback and cross training by walking up hills. Breathing well is a beautiful reward in itself: a view like this is extra special.

I celebrate the falling leaves, because they renew again in spring. I celebrate the lungs I was given in 2008, because they made way for the next set of lungs, and renewal.

Where do YOU like to take a breather?  Facebook, Instagram, or Tweet where you like to #takeabreather